Liu Huai took a deep breath and continued to move forward. Gradually, bloody handprints appeared in the carriage. They were traces left from the previous battle. This meant that players had appeared here not long ago. Liu Huai realized he was getting closer to Mu Sicheng and his heartbeat increased.
[The train is about to arrive at the station. The next stop is Huangquan Road. Passengers who are getting off, please line up and let the passengers come up first—]
The lights in the carriage flashed. Liu Huai walked into the last carriage and saw Mu Sicheng leaning against the wall with folded arms while Du Sanying was crouching down beside his small go-kart car.
The moment Liu Huai entered, Mu Sicheng raised his monkey paws vigilantly. Liu Huai raised his hands in an embarrassed and fearful manner. He whispered to the stunned Mu Sicheng, “Brother Si, I am here to surrender.”
Mu Sicheng’s face was cloudy and uncertain. He retracted his monkey paws and sneered. “Puppet Zhang actually brought you this time.”
“I… Brother Si…” Liu Huai didn’t dare look into Mu Sicheng’s eyes as his voice became weaker and weaker. “I was just trying to survive.”
“In order to survive, you took the initiative to chop off my hands and give me to Puppet Zhang?” Mu Sicheng sneered, the red light in his eyes about to drip blood. “Didn’t you join the Kings Guild? Puppet Zhang took you this time? It’s good for you. Such a high-level player is willing to take you along with him. It seems you’ve been living well in the Kings Guild.”
“You will actually betray Puppet Zhang? This is his trick isn’t it? Don’t think I will fall for the same trick a second time.” Mu Sicheng’s smile became more ironic.
Seeing that Mu Sicheng was going to act, Du Sanying quickly stopped Mu Sicheng. They still lacked people! Even if the one delivered to their door was fake, there was no need to push this person out!
Liu Huai told Mu Sicheng and Du Sanying what Puppet Zhang had told him to say. Du Sanying and Mu Sicheng glanced at each other. Liu Huai’s words were very similar to Bai Liu’s analysis. Puppet Zhang was willing to sacrifice his own puppets in exchange for fragments.
“Wait!” Mu Sicheng’s eyes darkened slightly. He took out a scale and grabbed Liu Huai’s throat with force.
A drop of blood splashed in Liu Huai’s eye and the red light in Mu Sicheng’s eyes became redder. Liu Huai was choked breathless by him. His limbs were in a disordered state and his face was red as he hoarsely begged, “I’m not deceiving you! I’m really here to ask for help!”
Mu Sicheng sneered, the expression on his face became stranger and more brutal while the strength of his hands increased. “You said you aren’t lying but I have my own standard of judgment.”
[System tip: Player Mu Sicheng has used the item ‘Judge’s Scale’ on player Liu Huai. Honest or not, this will weigh your conscience.]
[Judge’s Scale—can only be used on a certain player three times a day and can only be used to judge whether the answer is yes or no. Other overly complicated questions can’t be used to determine if the player is lying or not.]
“Okay, now I will ask and you will answer.” Mu Sicheng smiled evilly. One hand held the struggling Liu Huai while the other hand held a strangely shaped scale. The left side had the word ‘truth’ written while the right side had the word ‘lie’. “The first question. Did Puppet Zhang send you over here?”
Liu Huai coughed and looked at the item with horror. He instinctively lied. “N-No!”
The scale tilted in favor of ‘lie’.
Mu Sicheng sneered. “Second question, is Puppet Zhang very safe right now?”
Liu Huai was choked to tears and he begged for mercy. “Brother Si! Brother Si! I didn’t know you have this item! Please let me go! You still need me!”
Mu Sicheng indifferently closed his hand around Liu Huai’s neck. “Answer my question.”
“Yes!” Liu Huai felt like he was going crazy from the feeling of dying and tears flowed everywhere. “He is safe now! He is protected by two enhanced puppets!! I might’ve come here at his request but Brother Si, I really don’t want to harm you! I came to join you! I really won’t betray you like I did before! I will never cut off your hands again. Puppet Zhang is a lunatic! I wouldn’t be able to live so I came to find you, Brother Si!”
“Okay, the last question—” Mu Sicheng looked at Liu Huai who was begging for mercy and suddenly, many hallucinations appeared in front of his eyes. He saw blood seeping through his hands. Mu Sicheng slowly moved his gaze and saw that his shoulder was cut. The blood from this place was flowing down to his fingers, just like when Liu Huai cut off his arms.
[System tip: Player Mu Sicheng’s mood has fluctuated too much. His mental value has fallen to 60 and mild hallucinations have started to appear! Please pay attention to restore your mental value!]
Mu Sicheng blinked slowly. Blood dripped down the side of his face onto Liu Huai’s face as he lowered his head expressionlessly. “Okay, the last question. You said you won’t betray me anymore.”
“Then I will ask you. Are you still loyal to Puppet Zhang? Are you part of his plan and still under his control or have you really completely betrayed Puppet Zhang and separated from his control—”
There was no wavering in Mu Sicheng’s eyes.
Liu Huai’s chest was heaving violently and the sweat on his face fell drop by drop. His palms started to become numb and hot due to excessive tension. He had a hunch that if his answer wasn’t what Mu Sicheng wanted, Mu Sicheng was likely to kill him.
Liu Huai had seen this look in Mu Sicheng’s eyes before. It was the look that would appear after Mu Sicheng’s mental value dropped below the safety value. In this state, it was easy for Mu Sicheng to kill. It was in this state that Mu Sicheng killed Puppet Zhang’s four puppets. Liu Huai betrayed Mu Sicheng and stimulated Mu Sicheng too much, but he managed to escape the catastrophe.
“I came to see you because of Puppet Zhang’s plans but I really betrayed Puppet—” Before he could finish the sentence, Liu Huai felt the transparent puppet thread suddenly close around his heart.
Since he said he wanted to completely belong to Mu Sicheng’s camp, Puppet Zhang wanted to kill him. Liu Huai realized this and closed his eyes. The desire to live caused him to speak in a despairing manner. “I won’t betray Puppet Zhang.”
The scale shook twice before eventually falling slowly to ‘lie’.
Mu Sicheng slowly let go of the hand that was gripping Liu Huai’s neck, his eyes strange and mocking. “…It seems that you really can’t live on Puppet Zhang’s side so you betrayed him like you betrayed me back then.”
“You are only loyal to yourself, Liu Huai.” Mu Sicheng sneered. “You can be used.”
Liu Huai coughed and looked suspiciously at the scale in Mu Sicheng’s hand. This small scale—was it because Puppet Zhang had just wanted to kill him and he did give birth to the idea of betraying Puppet Zhang? Or perhaps this thought never stopped after Puppet Zhang made him a puppet…
Did Puppet Zhang anticipate to this extent? He knew that Mu Sicheng had the scale item and sent Liu Huai over…
Liu Huai suddenly felt a chill. Mu Sicheng once again asked Liu Huai about the process of coming here. This time, Liu Huai didn’t lie and told Mu Sicheng everything. Mu Sicheng sneered. “Want to provoke me to attack him? If I really want to attack him, I would do it in the later stages when he almost has all the broken lenses. Tsk, it is really unnecessary to separate me and Bai Liu.”
At this point, Liu Huai found something very strange. It had been a while since he came here but he hadn’t seen Bai Liu. He looked around and wondered, “Bai Liu isn’t here?”
Du Sanying scratched his face in an embarrassed manner. “Well, previously when discussing the plan, Bai Liu actually wanted to cooperate with the puppet master. However, Mu Sicheng disagreed with the plan and they had a big argument. Bai Liu broke away from us and went to take refuge with Puppet Zhang.”
Mu Sicheng hummed coldly and turned his face away. “Do I still need someone to separate me and Bai Liu? We can break up ourselves!”
Liu Huai, “……”
Liu Huai, “????? “
What????? Who did Bai Liu go to?!
[The train is about to arrive at the station. The next stop is Huangquan Road. Passengers who are getting off, please line up and let the passengers come up first—]
Bai Liu walked forward all the way to the front of the train and found Puppet Zhang sitting in his seat leisurely with two hollow-eyed puppets in front of him. He didn’t seem surprised to see Bai Liu and greeted Bai Liu naturally, “Come, sit down. You came faster than I thought.”
Bai Liu sat opposite Puppet Zhang and sighed. “You sent Liu Huai over and the chess piece Mu Sicheng was scrapped. I can only surrender.”
“You’re a smart man.” Puppet Zhang gave a meaningful smile. “It is just unlucky that you met the smarter me.”
Puppet Zhang’s arms and legs spread out on the chair in a very relaxed and conceited gesture. He raised his chin and looked at Bai Liu with a smile on his face. “This game requires the sacrifice of four people to pass the level. Your panel attributes are too bad to stand on the other side of me and fight with me. It will be me who will win but in this way, the overall health value will definitely be consumed. After I control you, I might choose to sacrifice you to collect the 400 health points needed to clear the game.”
“For you Bai Liu, I actually think the best plan is to cooperate with me. You might be controlled by me but at least I won’t sacrifice you easily.”
“However, Mu Sicheng definitely won’t agree to cooperate with me.” Puppet Zhang smiled with a bit of regret. Then he sighed in a fake manner. “In addition, you wouldn’t come to me easily for cooperation. After all, not many people have the personal desire to be controlled by others. You might even want to let Mu Sicheng steal my things. I had no choice but to let Liu Huai persuade you.”
The fish Puppet Zhang wanted to catch from beginning to end was Bai Liu, not Mu Sicheng. In order to get Bai Liu, it was necessary to shake the cooperative relationship between Mu Sicheng and Bai Liu. Nothing would shake Mu Sicheng’s trust in his teammates more than Liu Huai.
If Mu Sicheng had a normal mental value then he might care that this was a level 2 game and barely maintain a cooperative relationship with Bai Liu. However, if Mu Sicheng had an abnormal mental value and kept being reminded of Liu Huai’s betrayal then Mu Sicheng would have no control over his doubts and hatred of teammates.
Of course, Mu Sicheng could restore his mental value back to normal but this definitely wasn’t what Bai Liu wanted to see. If Bai Liu chose to maintain the cooperation with Mu Sicheng to the end and stand on the opposite side of Puppet Zhang, it required Mu Sicheng being in the rage state to have the combat effectiveness to fight against Puppet Zhang.
Bai Liu could also put himself into the rage state to increase his combat effectiveness but Puppet Zhang felt that Bai Liu wouldn’t do so.
The rage stage was very dangerous and there were still eight platforms to go. Bai Liu was an F-grade attributes panel player and his basic attributes were much weaker than the A-grade Mu Sicheng. The violent Bai Liu was a low defense, high output player and it was easy for him to die.
Puppet Zhang’s plan was to defeat them one by one. First take Bai Liu and then use Liu Huai to control Mu Sicheng. As for Du Sanying, he could die at an appropriate time. Puppet Zhang had no interest in Du Sanying who only reached the top using luck.
Bai Liu was very honest. “I actually advised Mu Sicheng to cooperate with you but not only did he refuse, he also beat me up.”
Bai Liu showed Puppet Zhang his personal panel as he spoke. Next to the health value, there were words stating ‘decreased by 40 after being attacked by Mu Sicheng.’ This was actually from when Bai Liu used Mu Sicheng as a means of transportation at the beginning. Mu Sicheng had punched Bai Liu angrily. Now it was evidence of Bai Liu’s surrender.
Bai Liu sighed regretfully. “I currently have only a bit over 20 health and there is absolutely no way to clear the level with that. I originally expected Mu Sicheng to kill you in his rage state. Previously, didn’t he kill four puppets in that stage? Unfortunately, I learned of Liu Huai’s existence and completely gave up on cooperating with Mu Sicheng.”
Puppet Zhang sent Bai Liu an approving look. “Due to Liu Huai’s presence, Mu Sicheng’s rage state will become more unstable and he will indeed be more inclined to attack his teammates.”
“It is too easy for me to die,” Bai Liu told him. “I might want to win the game but I also want to live. Therefore, I came to you for cooperation.”
If Mu Sicheng were here, he would definitely scold the money-obsessed madman for talking nonsense. However, Puppet Zhang didn’t know that Bai Liu was a crazy person who wanted money more than his life so Puppet Zhang smiled with satisfaction. He took out a roll of transparent puppet silk thread. “Then you know my condition for cooperating with me. You have to be my puppet.”
“Yes.” Bai Liu responded like he had expected such a result long ago. Then he touched his chin thoughtfully. “Still, cooperation is a matter of two parties, right? Puppet Zhang, I will be your puppet but shouldn’t you show your sincerity? For example, what are the benefits of being your puppet?”
Puppet Zhang found it very refreshing. “Tell me, how do you want me to show the sincerity of my cooperation?”
“I have an item that Mu Sicheng stole called the Merfolk Amulet.” Bai Liu slowly lowered his eyes. “I also fought with Mu Sicheng because of this. If possible, I hope you can help me get it back.”
“That’s it?” Puppet Zhang was a bit surprised. He hadn’t expected such a simple condition from Bai Liu.
“It is a life-saving item.” Bai Liu rolled his eyes with an obvious smile on his face. “My health is too low. I hope you can grab it for me before the train starts again. This way, I will be a bit safer. You don’t want me to die just after you got me, right?”
“Yes.” Puppet Zhang smiled. “I prefer willing puppets. Bai Liu, you are so sensible and willing to negotiate terms with me. Then I will—”
The puppet silk thread in Puppet Zhang’s hands trembled fiercely. The needle-sharp tip plunged into Bai Liu’s bones and the thread tangled around Bai Liu tightly. Bai Liu couldn’t help shuddering with pain and reflexively gasped.
[System tip: Player Bai Liu has become the puppet of player Puppet Zhang.]
Puppet Zhang slowly opened his mouth, the smile on his face became weird and evil. “—It is up to here. Bai Liu, you actually think you can still talk to me about conditions. Then I will teach you the rules.”
[System tip: Player Puppet Zhang has used the personal skill ‘String Doll’ against player Bai Liu.]
“Now Bai Liu, give me everything you have, especially your weapons.” Puppet Zhang hooked a thread on his finger. “I won’t give you any more chances to turn things around.”
Bai Liu’s movements were stiff and his face was pale due to pain. His hands stiffly opened his system panel and he constantly threw things out.
A white fish bone, some messy little things and an old wallet. Bai Liu’s expression changed when he threw out the old wallet, instantly attracting Puppet Zhang’s attention. Puppet Zhang bent down and picked up the old wallet. “What is this? Your personal skill?”
Puppet Zhang patted the wallet and sneered. “It is shabby enough.” He opened the wallet and saw the contents inside. His eyebrow raised slightly as Puppet Zhang took out the stack of point banknotes inside and displayed it in front of Bai Liu. “What is this? A solid points wallet? You actually like these messy things? There are also a lot of points. I counted and it is 12,000.”
Puppet Zhang smiled. “Then I will kindly accept.”
After being controlled, Bai Liu’s expression was bleak. He lowered his head and bit his lower lip, holding back what he wanted to say. Then he finally only said stubbornly, “You take it. Consider it my reward for helping me.”
Puppet Zhang sneered. “If you want to comfort yourself like this then fine.”
However, if Puppet Zhang lowered his head and looked at Bai Liu’s expression, he would see that Bai Liu’s eyes were calm and the bit lower lip was slowly curving in a small arc.
[System tip: Player Bai Liu has given player Puppet Zhang 12,000 points. Player Puppet Zhang needs to retrieve the item Merfolk Amulet for player Bai Liu before the train starts again.]
[If one of the players fails to complete the transaction then the system will punish the party who hasn’t completed the transaction by imprisoning them in the Empty Old Wallet, so that they become soul money.]